In 2014, I spent 80 percent of my music budget locally seeing artists that were mostly unknown to me a year earlier. Along the way, I met some great people who like the rest of us are struggling to survive, but living good lives and creating art out of life.
Everyone on this playlist and many others are influenced by Woody, Bob Childers, Bob Wills and the glorious history of music and musicians from in and around Oklahoma — especially Payne County. I would put our musical legacy up against any other state in the union.
- My Last Name Is Williams — Monica Taylor | Cotton Shirt
- World Gone Crazy — Jared Tyler | Here With You
- Bring Back The Trains — Jimmy LaFave | Depending On The Distance
- Cherokee Maiden — The Cherokee Maidens | The Cherokee Maidens & Sycamore Swing
- My Madison — Scott Copeland | 13 Songs I Wrote
- Love Had Come — Don Conoscenti | Turn Here
- Cavalier — John Calvin Abney | Empty Candles
- Treat Me That Way — Kyle Reid & The Low Swinging Chariots | Alright, Here We Go…
- Going Home — John Fullbright | Songs
- Death in Arkansas — Eliza Gilkyson | Roses at the End of Time
- Guitar Man — Don Morris | Backroads
- Nickel’s Worth Of Difference — Tom Skinner | The First Five
- Rearview Mirror — Chuck Dunlap | Porch Songs
- Survive — Mary Catherine Reynolds | Puppy
- Payne County Line — Carter Sampson | Good For the Meantime
- The Good Ones — Wink Burcham | Irene Vennie
- It Ain’t No Secret — Rick Reiley | Mud & Bone
- Yosemite — Parker Millsap | Parker Millsap
- Decree — Ani DiFranco | Reprieve
- Where the Arkansas River Leaves Oklahoma — Red Dirt Rangers | Lone Chimney
I saw everyone on this list perform live this year — some in smokey bars around Stillwater, a lot in a little Church down in Perkins, at a Country Club in Cushing, at the legendary Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa and at the Myriad Gardens in Oklahoma City. I bought all of this music — most of it on CD because the artists make more when you buy CDs at their shows.
Just because they’re not on this list, doesn’t mean I didn’t get a chance to catch Terry Ware, Gene Williams, Travis Fite, the Tequila Songbirds, Miss Brown to You or many others who played featured and supporting roles.
A lot of this music got me through some tough times: I lost one of my best friends to brain cancer, my favorite cat died suddenly, and… Let’s just leave it at that.
It was an ear opening year.